A Happy New Year to all LHSA users and readers of our blog. This week there is an update on the case note re-ordering task which has gradually been working through all of LHSA’s approximately 1 million + patient case notes. 

This has now reached the case notes of the Edinburgh Royal Maternity Hospital/Simpson Memorial Maternity Pavilion (ERMH/SMMP) infant welfare clinic. These were case notes produced for babies who required a longer stay in hospital after birth and for infants requiring hospitalisation after birth elsewhere. The date range of the records checked so far is 1933 - 1960, though the main run of case notes is from 1939 onwards. They complement the ERMH/SMMP Obstetrics case notes which date from 1935 - 1954, and contain records of some of the same patients. Looking through them has resulted in a new discovery: a link between previously unconnected patient records relating to a distinct ERMH/SMMP case note collection, described as ‘Paediatrics - Infants Clinic Collection Notes’. This is a small bundle of case notes from 1933 which were found in a cupboard by NHS staff a number of years ago. 

Nurse with newborn baby at the Edinburgh Royal Maternity Hospital, c.1935
When re-ordering the infant welfare clinic notes, it became clear that for several years, cases where the babies died were removed and put into separate boxes; this includes the year 1933. The style of these case notes is different to later years but it is identical to the case note style of the collection described as the 'Paediatrics - Infants Clinic Collection Notes' and the case note numbers exactly match the gaps in this sequence. The conclusion is that they were once part of the same series! This information can now be added to the catalogue and provided for researchers.